We recently sat down with Gina Morley, Principal Consultant for Accounting Support, to discuss her career, winning silver medal for highest biller in Australia and her rapid success in climbing to Principal Consultant in only 3 years of arriving in Australia.
Please tell us about your background in the UK before you migrated to Australia? And what prompted the move?
My first job was sales for Sky TV and I absolutely loved it, then I was approached to join a recruitment estate agency back in 2014 and since then I haven’t looked back.
My cousin moved to Australia 10 years ago and my best friend was also based here so I visited for a few weeks. The quality of life, the sun, beaches, the walks...I loved it all, and when I came back to the UK from my holiday I knew I wanted to give it a go so I started messaging recruitment agencies in Sydney on LinkedIn.
I actually got the job at AccountAbility whilst I was still in the UK. We used Skype for all the interviews before Zoom and Teams were even a thing.
Why did you first want to become a recruiter and why do you continue to want to be one?
I love speaking to people and every day is different. It’s fast-paced, and target driven which really motivates me. I am very competitive, in all senses and recruitment is a great industry to be in for that.
What do you consider the most rewarding aspect of your job?
We recruit from all levels, junior to national managers. Even though the fees are lower, I actually enjoy recruiting the junior entry-level accounting and payroll positions, the ones that give candidates the opportunity to kick start their careers, and they are so thankful.
A few placements I have made over the last few years, I have seen the growth and development it has done for their careers, and no doubt they will be CFO and managers themselves in the future asking me to find them staff.
What excites you about your future with AccountAbility?
At AccountAbility they give you the freedom to run your desk how you want to run it. I can choose the jobs I work on, and we are currently looking to grow the team, so there are some exciting plans this year.
Starting at AccountAbility only 3 years ago as a Consultant, and very recently being promoted to Principal Consultant, what behaviour or personality trait do you most attribute your rapid success to, and why?
Number one - always do what you say you are going to do - the golden rule in recruitment.
I would also say drive and motivation to succeed as well as actually enjoying what you do. There are a lot of ups and downs with recruitment, so you need to be resilient and not let things affect you.
Finally, organisation, I feel without this it’s difficult to stay on top of the fast-paced forever changing market.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position and the roles your recruit for at AccountAbility?
I think the biggest misconception is that all recruiters are the same.
I pride myself on doing what I say I'm going to do, that means replying to candidates even with the bad news (which is the worst part of the job) and keeping my clients updated along the full process. I will always meet both my candidates and clients (via video or if possible face to face) and receive a full brief so I can make sure I am representing both parties fully to match them to right job rather than just any old position that comes up. Saying that I am also lucky enough to be selective with jobs I am working on, as I would not send my candidate somewhere where I wouldn't work myself. I also will spend a lot of time with every single candidate going for an interview running through interview preparation, which is especially important for the more junior candidates, or even the more tenured candidates who might have not interviewed for 5-10 years. These are little things I do to try and set myself apart from the stereotype.
You have had so many successes in your time at AccountAbility, including winning second highest biller in Australia for 2021. What has your biggest achievement been so far and why?
It would be so hard to say one success - small wins like securing a junior candidate their first accounting role to kick start their accounting career, which as we all know is so hard to get your first foot in the door. Or the time I placed a candidate in an assistant accountant role, which lead to sponsorship so they could stay in the country and not go home. Or when I secured a very underpaid and overworked payroll manager a $30,000 pay rise and more quality time with his family (which his wife and children were probably more thankful for!). Also the satisfaction of successfully finding the perfect match for both candidates and clients, for example last week I filled a role within 5 days where the company had been struggling for months to find the right candidate and had gone through multiple agencies.
Then there are also Dream Team trips to Hamilton Island, reward dinners to places I would have probably never tried like Hubert, which was one of my favourite dinners in Sydney. Little things like receiving cards or gifts from thankful candidates it just all makes the job so worthwhile.
Do you have any tips for someone looking to start a role like yours?
Don’t overthink it - just do it!
AccountAbility has excellent support and training programs, with a great team and a family feel culture. In our team the average tenure is 6.5 years which is unheard of in recruitment.
When I was younger, I never thought I would love to be a recruiter when I grow up, but now I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. If you enjoy speaking to and meeting a range of personalities, helping them find their dream job, and get paid for doing it then what’s not to love.